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Colour Me Inspired!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

These days, I’m seeing colour in new ways. I see the coolness of a deep red and the yellowish tinge in a bright green. I practice painting my own colour wheels, in hopes that I’ll soon be able to replicate with ease the shades that I see in the natural world. I’ve been inspired by my latest painting course!

I have taken several paingint courses at studios throughout the city, but, if you can’t attend classes (or, even if you can), make a trip to the library for some inspiration!

The Calgary Public Library has all kinds of resources to inspire you:

  • Art books – we’ve got everything from ancient Egyptian to the modern masters!
  • Special collections – these oversized books are as amazing and inspirational as they are rare!
  • Painting Classes – check out our program guide for information about our free classes!
  • E-library – access biographical information and critical essays, online!

If you need inspiration for your latest project, don't dilly "Dali" (I know, I know...). Stop by your local library today!

The Freedom Manifesto, by Tom Hodgkinson

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Rarely is a wake-up call simultaneously a joy, and yet Tom Hodgkinson’s The Freedom Manifesto manages to achieve this combination through wit, philosophy, history, and brutal honesty. The Manifesto is for all those who want more time and less work; more nature and less plastic; more quality and less quantity; more pleasure and less guilt.

This is an ambitious book. It covers a lot of ground, and its tone is tirelessly emphatic. Hodgkinson implores us to quit our jobs, quit paying mortgages, quit buying food from supermarkets, and even quit bothering our children! Of course, for some, these propositions may seem far too idealistic. However, Hodgkinson traces the development of industrialization, the flight from community to individuality, and the rise of corporations with such insight and candor that we can see the warped progression of modernity and the absurdity of urban life. You may not quit your job after reading this book, but you will at least have contemplated it.

The Manifesto is witty and engrossing, and very well researched. If you want to radically change your life, or even if you want to fantasize about radically changing your life, check out this critically acclaimed Manifesto today.

"Typical Pisces!"

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Recently, I had the chance to meet with an old friend. We were both mired in tumultuous strings of events, and so it was great to re-connect with someone who could really, truly understand me.

In trying to identify “where it all went wrong”, my friend was reflecting on his own tendency to be evasive, and sighed: “…typical Pisces”.

It’s endlessly fascinating to me that a tradition as ancient and esoteric as the Western zodiac still holds explanatory power for 21st century minds. I don’t often admit to my lifelong fascination with the zodiac, but among other “believers”, I can let loose and be the outspoken Sagittarian that I truly am. For some reason – superstitious or otherwise – it just feels right.

If you’re someone with whom the zodiac resonates, search our catalogue for “astrology”.

Also, do you read your daily horoscope? Why not “green” this habit, by reading it online? Starting from our homepage, click on e-library, and then Newspaper Direct Press Display. Look for the Calgary Herald under “Librarian’s Picks”.

The friend I mentioned is a Pisces in the extreme; he's sensitive, intuitive, and amazingly artistic. He and I share a wonderful connection, an enduring friendship and a ruling planet. Coincidence? I think not.

Movin' On Up!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Watch out, Jeffersons! There’s a new woman “movin’ on up”.

If you, like me, are a first time homebuyer, you’ll soon realize how much you never knew about real estate. There are taxes to be paid, lawyers to be consulted, federal rebates to collect, and signatures (in triplicate!) to be witnessed. Where to begin?

Well, it starts with a budget. Sadly, gone are the days of shoe shopping on my lunch breaks. Now, I'm ushering in an era of brown-bagging and penny-pinching.

But, we’re not all born with an innate sense of how to manage and save money. Indeed, if you haven’t been forced to live on a budget, then you likely haven’t developed all of the necessary skills. Moreover, even those who have mastered the basics can always stand to learn a few tips and tricks.

Why not browse our catalogue for “budgeting”? We’ve got a huge selection of materials, and with your library card, you can borrow up to 99 items at a time. Also, be sure to check out our program guide and register for free, upcoming programs on budgeting and money management. Now that’s a bargain!

Welcome to Togo!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I teach English to new Canadians, and each class is like the assembly of the United Nations. This term, I have students from Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Bulgaria and Togo – all learning together, and hoping to one day become "true Canadians”, whatever that term means.

As they introduced themselves on the first day of class, I realized that I know a little bit about each of their countries of origin, except Togo. If I were shown an unlabeled map of Africa, could I identify Togo? What kind of place is it? Who lives there and what do they do? I had no idea, whatsoever.

So, I turned to one of my favourite research tools: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Sure, I could have Googled, but when I want to have information that I know is accurate, I eschew the wikis, and use Calgary Public Library’s e-library, instead.

With your library card, you’ve got the digital equivalent of literally hundreds(!) of dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference books, all at your disposal, and only a few clicks away.

I love Encyclopedia Britannica because it’s comprehensive, provides links to authoritative websites and media clips, and contains all sorts of interactive tools. Compare countries and have the information exported into an excel file, or shown as a graph or pie chart. Follow the development of music, writing, medicine, religion and more, with interactive timelines. Encyclopedia Britannica is an amazing tool for any topic you might wish to research, and it’s updated daily!

From our homepage, select e-library and then Encyclopedias and Dictionaries. Then, Encyclopedia Britannica. Search or browse! Voila!

The moral of the story: Canada and Togo have a lot more in common than I may have originally guessed. French is an official language in both countries, neither has an official religion, and…

I’m not doing your research for you! Go and check out Encyclopedia Britannica today!

On Cheeseboards and WorldSkills

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

A number of years ago, I opened a Christmas present from my aunt. It was a gorgeous, handmade, wooden cheeseboard – velvety soft to the touch, crafted from many different varieties of wood, and made with love.

If I could learn any new skill, it would be carpentry. I would love to turn a plank of wood into a work of art; to make sustainable, beautiful objects that last a lifetime. I think there is something remarkable about gazing at a lovely piece of furniture, knowing that it started as merely a concept, but came to fruition through careful, thoughtful construction. Indeed, all the more remarkable if one is in possession of 10 fingers, by the time the project is complete.

If given the chance, which skill would you learn? Would you work with wood or metal? Would you rather design or construct? What kind of product would you build or repair?

WorldSkills Calgary 2009 is coming soon!

If you've ever been interested in the trades, now is the time to check out tradespeople from all over the world, competing at what they do best.

Note that I mention “tradespeople”, and not “tradesmen”. WorldSkills is for people, not just the guys! Men and women alike can be inspired by women in the trades!

For more information, check out the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 website.

If you’re inspired, come to your local library branch! We’ve got books on how to build, fix and maintain almost any kind of project you can imagine! Whether you’re a novice or a professional, there’s something for you in our catalogue. Also, explore our e-library, too. We’ve got all sorts of information on car and small engine repair, DIY projects, culinary skills, and much more!

Also, check out our contest! You could win an XBOX 360, just by keeping the learning going!

Time to sign off now. I’ve suddenly gotten a craving for a nice, sharp cheddar…

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